State checkbook

In December, state Treasurer Steven Gross­man followed through on his campaign promise to put the state’s checkbook on­line at www.mass.gov/opencheckbook. After some fits and starts, the site is up and running, with improvements expected in the future.

The content is not all that different from what’s available on some other web­sites, but the information is far more timely. It can be an eye-opening experience to see where taxpayer money goes. Through the first five months of the fiscal year, the state spent $278,446 on bottled water. Included in that figure is $132,000 paid to at least two bottled water companies who get their water from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

Health care vendors are the biggest recipients of state money. In fact, nine of the top 10 vendors are health related, accounting for $2.6 billion that has been paid out since July 1. Most of the health-related vendors are state and local agencies and nonprofit health plans. The highest paid for-profit vendor is CVS, which has received $71.3 million since the start of the fiscal year.

Meet the Author

Jack Sullivan

Senior Investigative Reporter, CommonWealth

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan, a veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for more than two decades, was most recently editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the 2003 New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's 2002 award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. He also won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

He is also an adjunct professor at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, where he teaches journalism writing.

A Boston native, Jack has lived in Massachusetts all his life. He was a major in English and history with a minor in political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. A father and grandfather, he lives in Plymouth with his wife, Susan.

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan, a veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for more than two decades, was most recently editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the 2003 New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's 2002 award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. He also won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

He is also an adjunct professor at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, where he teaches journalism writing.

A Boston native, Jack has lived in Massachusetts all his life. He was a major in English and history with a minor in political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. A father and grandfather, he lives in Plymouth with his wife, Susan.

Kingston road contractor P.A. Landers was placed on probation and barred from bidding on state work after the company pleaded guilty in 2007 to fraudulently overbilling the state for asphalt and stone deliveries. After returning to the state’s good graces, the company has been paid nearly $31 million since fiscal 2010.

The state sent nearly $31 million to other states for tolls owed by Massa­chu­setts drivers using EZ Pass transponders. The money is collected from a driver’s credit card by Massachusetts and then forwarded to the state seeking payment.